Gastro-intestinal stromal tumours (GIST) are rare cancers affecting about 100 Australians annually. Until recently surgery to remove GIST was the only effective treatment. In 50% of people having an operation the disease returns within 5 years.
Imatinib mesylate (IM) is a drug targeting a part of the biochemical pathway that influences tumour growth. The drug prolongs life in people whose GIST is no longer operable. This study compares the impact of imatinib mesylate given after surgery to surgery alone on length of life in people at high risk of the GIST returning.
Prof John Simes (NSW), Prof John Zalcberg (Vic), A/Prof Bruce Mann (Vic), A/Prof Mark Smithers (Qld), Dr Dusan Kotasek (SA) & Dr Guy Van Hazel (WA)
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Division of Haematology & Medical Oncology
$13,334 per annum